Shaw Streets

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DC To-GoGo, a new, community-based restaurant delivery service in Shaw. Photo courtesy of DC To-GoGo

DC To-GoGo Delivery Service Starts
When the coronavirus crisis brought a lockdown on most commercial activities, restaurants were limited to takeout and delivery only to generate revenue. But restaurants discovered that the national delivery apps can take up to a 40 percent cut of the bill. At a time when every expense has to be managed, the proprietors of Shaw dive bar Ivy and Coney saw an opportunity for reducing costs for neighborhood restaurants by establishing a cheaper takeout delivery platform. Called DC To-GoGo, this local service will provide responsive online ordering and restaurant takeout delivery without the Silicon Valley overhead. DC To-GoGo is supported by a grant from Shaw Main Streets. The service initially was limited to Shaw bars and restaurants.

The DC To-GoGo app allows users to either schedule a restaurant pickup, set up a delivery from the restaurant or use DC To-GoGo drivers for delivery at a much lower cost to the restaurant that the major delivery services. Users can download the DC To-GoGo app at the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store or order online at www.dctogogo.com.

Center City Middle School Study
On May 20, DC Public Schools (DCPS) held a community meeting to discuss the Center City Middle School Study. The study is the result of an amendment that the DC Council added to the budget in 2019, mandating that DCPS house a new Shaw Middle School at the old Banneker High School site once the secondary school moves to its new building on Rhode Island Avenue. The community meeting was held virtually, given the current restrictions on large public meetings during the coronavirus crisis.

When the meeting started, the participants complained about the lack of notice. The first announcement of the study came at the end of June last year, mentioning that the study would start at the beginning of fiscal year 2020. Now, a year later, most of the participants got notice of the community meeting a day before it was to occur. There was further disappointment when the effort was described as a facilities study, looking at the physical suitability of the old Banneker and Garnet-Patterson schools. Why was the Garnet-Patterson added to the study? The planners were directed to buildings in the DCPS portfolio in Shaw. Why was the soon to be closed Washington Metropolitan High School not an option? There was only enough money in the contract to study two buildings.

Meeting participants were frustrated to learn that the study did not contemplate which neighborhood elementary schools would feed into the middle school or what type of programs it would offer, only to plan for a 550 student middle school and determine if the available buildings would meet its physical needs. Completion of the study would not guarantee that Shaw could ever expect to get its own middle school.

Despite the lack of notice, over 80 people participated in the virtual meeting. It was resolved to hold another community meeting soon so that other citizens could get proper notice. The date for the next community meeting was set for June 2, DC’s Primary Election Day. The virtual meeting will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. Contact camilo.sanin@k12.dc.gov for more information.

The DC Water Northeastern Boundary Tunnel worksite at R Street NW. Photo William Eppard

DC Water Holds Virtual Community Forum
On May 21, DC Water held another of its meetings to inform the community on the progress of its Northeast Boundary Tunnel project. This meeting had to be held as a virtual forum, given the District’s restriction on public gatherings. The project, which will require construction through the Bloomingdale, Le Droit Park and Shaw neighborhoods, will be completed by 2023.

The overview of the project started by noting the former location of “Lake Bloomingdale” in near Northeast Washington due to the propensity for its streets to flood and homes to suffer sewer backups whenever there was a heavy rain. The 100-year-old combined sewer system, mixing wastewater with stormwater runoff, was frequently overwhelmed, resulting in overflows. When completed, the Northeast Boundary Tunnel will correct these problems for at least a century.

In terms of progress, the tunnel boring machine, nicknamed Chris, has approached First and W Streets NW and will soon start to make its way southwest underneath Rhode Island Avenue. The forum gave a detailed, technical update on the work planned for the next few months at the First Street, T Street, Florida Avenue and R Street project worksites.

DC Water wants to mitigate the impact that the tunnel construction has on residents and the community. It has a process to address claims by residents that their property has been damaged by the tunnel construction, initiated by calling the project Hotline (800-988-6151). DC Water has also retained the services of Shaw Main Streets and North Capitol Main Streets to work with local businesses affected by the tunnel project.

This first virtual forum on the Northeast Boundary Tunnel Project had approximately 30 participants. More information on the project is available at dcwater.com/NEBT.